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Helpful Tip for November 2006

Effective Mail Campaigns Begin with Data Processing

Mailing Campaigns
Our data processing services include merge/purge and electronic presorting capabilities to help keep your lists accurate

For most direct mail campaigns, postage costs can amount to 1/3 of the total program cost. With that many dollars riding on the accuracy of your mailing list, data processing should be an integral part of direct mail planning. At Data Solutions we offer customers a complete range of data processing solutions that help make your campaigns as efficient to mail as possible.

What is Data Processing?

Data processing refers to the collection of services that help you organize, aggregate, update and optimize customer data for direct mail purposes. These services range from list merge/purge and postal presorting to complete variable-data list setup. Let’s take a closer look at some of these services:

NCOA and CASS certification - To qualify for reduced postal rates, your lists must be checked against the Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS) database.  This standardizes the mailing address to meet the USPS rules and regulations.  The CASS needs to be performed within 90 days of the mail date.  For First-Class Mail, the data needs to be checked against the National Change of Address (NCOA).  This certification ensures that every address is current and mailable.  NCOA needs to be performed within 185 days of the mail drop date.  The NCOA service is only performed by Data Solutions at your request; otherwise it is the database owner’s responsibility to meet this requirement.

Deduplication & Data Appending - Utilizing our sophisticated mailing software and other proprietary software, we can efficiently eliminate duplicate records. We can append the database with information such as geocoding, gender, county, and carrier route information. When narrowing the selection criteria, we commonly provide custom reports for clients to facilitate in eliminating unwanted records.

Electronic presorting - Presorting can save significant postage costs by allowing you to enter mail directly into the postal stream.  At Data Solutions, we can presort all classes of mail, including first class, periodical, standard, bound printed matter, nonprofit, library and media mail.

Drop Shipping - In order to further reduce postage for larger mailings, we generate mail.dat files. With this capability we work with a select few logistics companies to secure the best freight pricing for your project based on their network of facilities and transportation routes.  Depending on the saturation, we are able to enter the mail directly at the destination BMC/SCF/DDU. Another benefit of this service is that the mail is processed faster and helps reduce lead times.

List Brokering - Data Solutions is a dealer for several of the major list compilers.  Each compiler has strengths and weaknesses. We can work with you to help select the right business, consumer, or occupant data files to meet your marketing criteria.

Personalization solutions - Effective personalization begins with accurate data processing. Our experienced staff can help you take full advantage of the relationships between data elements that go beyond mere salutation. When combined with our laser and inkjet variable-data printing capabilities, the result is customized mail pieces that appeal more intimately to each recipient.

A Typical Success Story

Our clients’ customer provided us with two databases that were unusable and undeliverable in their as-provided condition. The problems were numerous: The fields were mixed, there were no spaces in the delivery address, and at least one of the city, state and or zip code fields were missing from each record. 

After a little tender loving care from our programming department, we were able to rectify the database to our client’s delight (and surprise). We successfully managed to cleanse 52,000 records that passed the NCOA. While we hope your lists don't require this level of attention, Data Solutions has the data processing resources and experience to assist in making your direct marketing campaign a success.

The Data Solutions Advantage

Data Solutions is your single resource for a complete range of mailing, data processing and personalization solutions. We can accept your data files in virtually any format and optimize them for your mail campaign. Our electronic presorting, merge/purge and NCOA/CASS certification solutions help keep your lists accurate and reduce postage costs. In addition to our variety of output options, including color and black-and-white inkjet imaging and full color laser personalization capabilities, give you the power to apply variable text and graphics to your pieces. Give Data Solutions a call today to begin planning your next successful direct mail campaign.

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